Aggressive pricing has always been a hallmark of Wal-Mart's strategy, and some critics have said this practice has made it difficult for companies manufacturing in the U.S. to stay profitable. But Wal-Mart said it expects the tide is changing.
"Economics are starting a generational shift with the labor components rising in Asia," said Bill Simon, CEO of Walmart U.S. "Demand for products is rising in Asia; transportation costs increasing; and lower energy costs domestically, there are categories that are already less expensive to manufacture in the U.S."
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Aluf Plastics, in business for 37 years, has had success in keeping its manufacturing costs low by going green and investing heavily in new technology to increase operating efficiency. But it hasn't always been easy.
"Overseas product is a strong source of competition for us so we are constantly on our toes to take advantage of new technology to counteract that difference. For the most part over the last two to three years, the gap has narrowed so we can manage it better with local manufacturing, local deliveries and new technology improvements," Rosenberg said.
Aluf also recycles roughly 50 million pounds of industrial plastic waste a year that would otherwise go to the landfill as well as recycling 25,000 gallons of water every day used in their manufacturing.
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In addition to taking advantage of lower manufacturing costs at home, Wal-Mart hopes the "Made in the USA" product push will shore up sluggish sales and traffic in stores as the nation's unemployment rate continues to decline.
"I think it's going to take a while, six months or a year, for those numbers to balance out," Simon said. "You'll see a drop in the [unemployment] rate, and then as more people come back into the work force, that might change again. Hopefully, after six years, we start to gain traction in the U.S."